(Me suffering through the novel on a mission to deconstruct the current vampire phenomenon while Graham takes a break from On The Road and a Frenchman enjoys the view on Ko Tao)
* This post is a negative review. I normally like to focus on things that I enjoy and find inspiring but I think that this trend is interesting and the issues raised are important to discuss *
While in SE Asia, I devoured anything I found that was written in English, and was very curious to see what all the fuss was about when I stumbled upon a battered copy of the first novel in the Twilight series.
I will refrain from describing Stephanie Meyer’s writing style, (there are lots of books sharing the distinction of sloppiness beyond the excuse of a low reading level) but I do want to briefly touch base on how disturbing the thematic content is – and how this is all the more frightening due to the series’ popularity.
Twilight is centered around a pallid lifeless teenager lacking personal interests (or I’ll go so far as to say lacking personality) whose crush, throughout the series, breaks into her home and watches her sleep, verbally and physically threatens her, and encourages her to lie about being beaten within reach of death. It is a love story about an abusive relationship.
It is a book that romanticizes violence (and far exceeds the obvious poetic license in using the tired vampire theme) and author Stephanie Meyer’s dismissal of this fact displays an alarming naiveté that is present throughout her novel.
Censorship is not something I endorse and I thoroughly encourage anyone who’s curious about the book to pick up a copy at the library and form your own opinion. I appreciate the issue of abuse being raised in a format accessible to teens and my hope is that this poorly composed piece of “literature” will spark a dialogue among young women that is far more intelligent than what was released by this grown woman.
(I stopped trying to read and analyze this series after I caught 5 minutes of the first movie in a hotel lobby where the emaciated main female character makes a cynical joke about teenage eating disorders. I also read the first few chapters of the last book where, after her marriage at age 19 to the vampire, a bloody birth scene takes place, involving vampires biting through her uterus to “birth” a baby that had been beating her from the inside-out. I literally gave myself a headache thinking of how many unfortunate images in society these extreme metaphors evoke.)